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Credit scores when a marriage ends

While people in Texas generally think that the end of a marriage will have a negative impact on them financially, a survey of recently divorced individuals showed that credit scores can often rise when a couple breaks up. The study, released by an online credit education company, reviewed responses from 526 divorced people in numerous social groups and the related impact of how a divorce affects finances.

The study also looked at the perceptions couples have related to their credit scores and their partners' score. The same number, 40 percent, who said they handled the money while they were married said they had the higher credit score. However, once the marriage ended, both partners, no matter their involvement in managing finances, reported that their credit scores improved. However, if they had a better score when they married, they might not have a better score after a divorce.

Scores weren't affected when a couple discussed finances before marriage, either. The credit score variables seemed to depend on several factors, including the separation of accounts and if the state was a community property state. One notable difference was for those who said the marriage ended due to money, and they reported a drop in credit score.

No matter a person's marital status, they should check their credit scores once a year to make sure it doesn't contain mistakes. They can check their score for free and look at how to improve their credit. If there are errors, those can be corrected once they are discovered. The end of a marriage also means the opportunity for a fresh start. A family lawyer might be able to help clients address credit issues and offer suggestions on how to resolve mistakes so they can move toward a successful financial future.

Source: Market Watch, "Want to boost your credit score? Get divorced", Christine DiGangi, February 13, 2014

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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